Humility - 4 Emotions for Mental Health Awareness (Part 3 of 4)

May 16, 2024

4 Emotions to Focus on During Mental Health Awareness Month (Part 3 of 4)

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month! Time to turn our attention to mental health and check in with ourselves. It’s a great time to ask: How am I doing? What have I been feeling lately? How can I course correct to live a little more authentically this month?

This May, I am centering my goals around acceptance by focusing on four authentic emotions:

  • Eustress (vs. Distress)
  • Injustice (vs. Anger/Hatred)
  • Humility (vs. Worthlessness)
  • Belonging (vs. Fitting In)

In the last two posts, I discussed Eustress and Injustice, which have to do with accepting our emotions for the helpful response that they are. In this article, I’ll talk about humility, an authentic emotion that comes from accepting ourselves. 

When we accept ourselves, we understand that we are imperfect and that our imperfect actions do not have any connection to or impact on our worth. We are divinely made beings that slip up often because we learn by experience. Experiences, positive or negative, both contribute to growth–they are both necessary. The divine worth within us is unchanging. It does not fluctuate with how bad or good we’ve been behaving.

Humility is too often twisted in ways that make us feel worthless and undeserving of love. Feeling worthless is not part of being truly humble.

Humility

The topic of humility carries quite a bit of myth baggage with it. Humility is heavily associated with things like cowardice, weakness, and inferiority. These feelings are actually tied to Humility’s counterfeit: Worthlessness. 

Most of us have grown up being taught not to brag and not to be prideful, that instead, we should be modest and humble. When trying to be humble, the first step most of us take is to dismiss all thoughts and feelings of greatness. We fear that thinking highly of ourselves leads to selfishness and putting ourselves above others. Thinking highly of ourselves has the potential to lead us to a place of pride and apathy, however, that is not the only way it goes. It is okay and healthy to understand your own worth–your own greatness and your own power. Humility is not the absence of self-worth. 

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” 

Humility has nothing to do with valuation. Humility is not the practice of valuing ourselves less and it is not the practice of valuing others more. In its plainest form, humility is a willingness to be taught. Being humble means being teachable. 

Humility starts with accepting that our worth does not change. Our worth is deep, immutable, and infinite. Our actions can not change our worth or the worth of other people. The next step is to understand that we are all still learning how to live up to our great potential. There is so much more to learn, and not knowing all of it yet does not diminish our worth. Once we have accepted those two things, we can be taught. 

Something incredible happens when we understand our power, and pair that understanding with a willingness to learn and change. We become a beacon of light, for ourselves and others. We become a pillar of strength that stands immovable amidst the pains of life.

Humility is not a dismissal of our power, it is an acceptance of our potential and a striving toward it. We have the power to become something amazing; humility is being willing to be taught how to become that. 

BE A BETTER HUMAN

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